Scott Cairns has a lovely book of poems called Endless Life: Poems of the Mystics, where he “riffs” on the writings of early church fathers and mothers.
I was especially struck this morning by this poem, simply entitled “Prayer,” rooted in the writings of St. John of the Ladder:
By its very nature, prayer
avails both our conversation
and our union with God.
Its sure effect is (notice now!) to hold
the world together. Prayer
is both the mother and the daughter
of our tears, and occasions
expiation of all sin. It is a bridge
across temptation and a wall
against affliction, both a future
joy and a present act, endlessly
opening to a flood of graces.